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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 29, 2011 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

[Guidance Overview]
Updates to Health Care Reform's Mini-Med Waiver Processes and External Claims Review Requirements
"You should speak with your insurance carrier or third-party administrator for your group health plans to make sure that their processes and written notices are appropriately revised to reflect the above changes. In addition, you should consider whether you wish to take advantage of the longer urgent claims response deadline and, if so, make any necessary changes to your plan documents, procedures and notices." (McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP)

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[Guidance Overview]
Implied Employment Contract Created via Maternity Leave Policy
"This decision is the latest example of how an employee's 'reasonable expectations' may overcome the at-will employment doctrine in New Jersey. It also is a cogent reminder that employers must draft all employee communications carefully, even where employment-at-will policies are clear." (Littler Mendelson P.C.)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Notice Requests Comments on Health Coverage Fee to Fund Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PDF)
"The Notice makes clear that the IRS is aware that these new fee requirements will impose not only a financial burden on issuers and plan sponsors, but administrative burdens as well. However, it appears that the IRS is receptive to reducing administrative burdens where possible, and allowing issuers and plan sponsors to use existing data and safeharbors to determine the average number of covered lives." (Groom Law Group)

[Official Guidance]
Text of Secretary of Labor's Kenseth Amicus Brief, in Support of Reversal
"This case presents an important and recurring remedial issue: whether section 502(a)(3) of ERISA authorizes plan participants to recover monetary losses resulting from fiduciary breaches." (U.S. Department of Labor)

New Online Directory Helps Patients Compare Care Quality Across U.S.
"[This week], Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched an online directory of health care providers that allows consumers to compare the quality of care provided by physicians and hospitals . . . ." (California HealthCare Foundation by The Advisory Board Company)

Health Care Reform's Internal Claim Processes and External Review Rules Revised Again
"Nongrandfathered group health plans and insurers will need to comply with revised rules on internal claim processes and external reviews." (Mercer LLC)

What Will Employers Do When Health Reforms Kick In?
"[C]overage numbers mask another problem with employer-sponsored plans that may not be resolved by the reform plan — workers are paying a much bigger share of premium increases relative to the overall rise in health costs paid for employer-sponsored plants in the past decade." (The Seattle Times Company)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
IRS's Proposed New Regulations on Sec. 162(m) Performance-Based Compensation Exception
"[T]he proposed regulation would clarify that the transitional relief provided under §1.162-27(f)(1) applies to any compensation received pursuant the exercise of a stock option, SAR, or restricted stock award granted under a properly disclosed plan during the transition period." (Michael S. Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Texas Supreme Court Holds Stock Options Award to Valuable Employee Provides Necessary 'Nexus' to Protection of Company's Goodwill
"[T]he court ruled by a 6-3 majority that stock options granted to a valuable employee are sufficient consideration to support a post-employment restrictive covenant because they are 'reasonably related' to the company's interest in protecting its goodwill." (Littler Mendelson P.C.)

Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Benefits Over a Lifetime
"How much will you pay in Social Security and Medicare taxes over your lifetime? And how much can you expect to get back in benefits? It depends on whether you're married, when you retire, and how much you've earned over a lifetime." (Urban Institute)

Press Releases

Employee Benefits Jobs

Benefits Analyst
for Summit Retirement Plan Services in OH

Director Defined Contribution Analyst
for Central Ohio Full Service Qualified Plan Administration Firm in OH

Relationship Mgr I
for The Standard in CA

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Webcasts and Conferences

"Fundamentals of 401(k) and Other Qualified Plans" - Chicago
in Illinois on July 27, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium - Larchmont
in New York on July 28, 2011 presented by 401k Rekon

5th Annual Congress on On-Site Employee Health Clinics
in Illinois on July 25, 2011 presented by Global Media Dynamics

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Fax (407) 644-2151

Jeanette Hull, News Editor
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Lois Baker, J.D., President
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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